Healers are a rare breed in World of Warcraft. Despite what can be a thankless job, some people are just drawn to the role. But why is that? What common traits bind us healers together?
1. A need to fix things. It’s human nature to want to fix what’s broken, but in real life we sometimes miss the mark.
I wanted so badly to be able to fix my baby girl; to take away everything that was wrong with her immune system so she could smile and play and live her life, but there was nothing I could do to fix her. And after she was gone, I realized there were a lot of things I couldn’t fix.
But healers can fix damn near everything in WoW. If the tank doesn’t pop their cooldowns, the healer can fix it. If the DPS takes hits they shouldn’t, the healer can fix it. And if someone dies, the healer can fix that, too.
2. A need to help. Healers are the nurses, the teachers, the counselors. They love helping other people, and they love the gratification that comes from being able to make a difference in someone else’s life.
For me, being a helper means making more money so I can give to those who need it. Before my daughter lost her battle with Aplastic Anemia, a generous couple gave my husband and I a check to cover our living expenses for several months. In honor of that generosity, I started a non-profit foundation in memory of my daughter that helps other struggling families.
In WoW, the healer is a support role; the ultimate helper. Aside from the pure mechanic of healing, they provide buffs and other spells to help the group. In a raid setting there’s only one role that can lift the weight off everyone else’s shoulders: The healer.
3. A need to feel needed. Everyone wants to feel like they have some reason for existing on this planet. For some people, this is accomplished by the feeling of being needed.
I don’t think I really knew what it was like to feel needed until my children were born. You can’t tell your children you just don’t feel like taking care of them today. They are completely dependent upon you, to the point that everything you do – or don’t do – has an impact on their lives.
When you’re a healer, your teammates become your children. You can’t suddenly decide you don’t feel like healing today, because they need you to accomplish their goals. And though they may frustrate and exhaust you, it’s still rewarding to know that you have a place with them.
4. A need to save the day. “Saving the day” means different things to different people. Sometimes it’s coming through with a big project at work. Sometimes it’s picking up my boy from school and then taking him to Disneyland, just because. Sometimes it’s the simple act of offering someone a friendly smile.
Saving the day, to me, means having compassion and recognizing that not everyone in the world is an asshole. Sure, the guy who cut me off might be an entitled jerk, but he might also be rushing his daughter to the hospital or trying to get home from a bad day. My being calm and understanding gives him one less thing to worry about.
In WoW, saving the day takes on a much bigger meaning. It’s everything we love, just scaled up. As healers we really do get the chance to turn a bad situation completely around by saving the group from a wipe with timely heals.
Do you identify with these four needs common to healers? Do you have something else you want to add to the list?